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We’re told that finding your purpose has never been more important; yet carving out time to fulfil it often feels like a challenge.

In our fast-paced world of endless scrolling and dopamine producing notifications, messages about finding purpose easily cut through but finding time to contribute to something bigger than ourselves can seem out of reach.

Perhaps it’s just a reflection of modern life. We’re encouraged and rewarded for multi-tasking and app switching. Fresh content is delivered to our devices 24/7 and it demands to be consumed immediately. As technology advances, we can now complete tasks in hours that would have taken days or weeks, giving us all a sense that we must keep up.

So where do you even begin your purpose journey?

Often the advice is to start with exploring what motivates you, your values and fundamentally what you believe in.

For many, myself included, giving back to the people and communities you most identify with is a great place to start. There are so many ways to connect with a cause, place or community and the simple act of giving money to a charity is often the choice for many. It’s an instant hit of feel good that only takes a minute to complete.

But there's more than just giving money.

Charities benefit greatly when you get involved in other ways – such as campaigning, fundraising, and donating items to charity shops or food banks.

About a decade ago, I started fundraising for a charity that helped me come to terms with a difficult time in my childhood. Over several years, I took part in organised runs, rattled tins and climbed mountains. I also spoke publicly about the cause, with the charity's blessing and support.

This experience ignited a passion for volunteering, and I fulfilled my ambition to become a charity trustee, joining the board of a charity in my hometown, supporting children who are at risk or might be at risk of homelessness, a cause dear to my heart.

Beyond the formalities of charity trusteeship, there are other ways to use your skills for good. Pro-bono or skills-based volunteering offers a powerful way to contribute, using the skills you already have and offering a chance to develop new ones along the way.

Many employers already support this type of giving at work; CV writing workshops, interview coaching and life-skills classes amongst many others.

At Pilotlight, we take it a step further. Matching senior leaders with charities to help transform their strategy, operations and effectiveness. Our participants, who we affectionately call ‘Pilotlighters’, are invited to join a carefully curated team of advisors to support a charity leader. The teams are supported by a highly experienced Pilotlight Project Manager, to drive outcomes and make the most of everyone’s time.

So, wherever you are on your purpose journey, it is important to recognise that your time is the most valuable gift you can give.

Figuring how you want to share it with the causes and communities that mean the most to you is all part of the fun.  

Written by
Profile picture for user Tom Leavesley-Matthews
Tom Leavesley-Matthews
Head of Partnerships - Pilotlight

Be part of something

Together, we can do more for our charities and communities and it starts with the gift of giving – your time and skills.

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